As Ozzy B, a young budding Rapper from the suburbs of Lagos who drew inspiration from like-minds in the game, Santi was a voice of the voiceless. His hit single and debut project soundtracked the lives of Nigerian youths who in more ways than one could relate to Santi’s (then Ozzy B) musings about life. As a young artist living in a society that demanded a lot from upcoming artists in the scene, rapping was what he had to do not what came naturally and in a recent interview with Mayowa Idowu of Culture Custodian, GMK – Producer and 1/3 of Monster Boys, a group Santi and his friends/colleagues created way back – revealed that the decision made by Santi to switch personalities and genres came from finally taking a leap into a niche he felt comfortable in.
Assuming the personality and role of Cruel Santino, a brief but impactful moniker taken up by Santi was only the stepping stone to becoming who he is today, a sound champion from the crevices of Lagos whose music has not only raised questions and inspired theories but drawn the attention of his counterparts in other countries including Goldlink and DRAM who are featured on the project.
In continuance of the fame Gangsta Fear afforded him, Santi shares his debut project as Santi – the 16-track star studded Mandy and the Jungle, a project borne out of passion for his sound and the acclaim some of it’s singles including Rapid Fire and Freaky have afforded him.As expected, Mandy and the Jungle is an acoustic rain of emotions and pure talent is a project that pitches Santi’s evolution from Ozzy B till date, propels the best of his chameleonic and often times Rastafarian inflected vocals, lyrical finesse; evident in the varied and engaging narratives that play out from start to finish and most especially the futuristic but colourful, energetic and fluid melodies that give life to each of the 16 tracks.
Blanketed in features and edgy, lusty, psychedelic and fast paced instrumentals provided by a good number of industry favourites, Mandy and the Jungle boasts of thoughtful directness in each mood inducing track. The keys in Murvlana featuring Tay Iwar hit with precise intention as Santi sings about his thoughts relating to his Muse, the Snares in Maria coupled with Goldlink’s seamless flow go straight to the core of one’s mind, the silky instrumentals In Dime in the Winter blended with smooth vocals are seductive enough to leave the listener wondering, likewise the steady rhyhtm present in Settle Down, a personal favourite. From beginning to end, the sense of purposefulness rife in Raining Outside is not lost.
A lot can be said about Santi’s brand but one of the most important is the actual fact that he doesn’t conform to what’s hailed as normal, a characteristic that presents itself in his creative style and by extension, his personality which manifested in this 16-track project that was well worth the wait.
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Photo Credit – @ouchmyermharts